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Your Top Ten Energy Drains

Monday, June 15, 2009


We're almost to the end of the project, and by now, we should each have an idea of what our biggest energy drains are. I thought it might be helpful, and maybe even fun to make a list, and title it, "My Top Ten Energy Drains."

Once you have your list made, you can choose to either live with them, work around them, or actually do something to eliminate them. Or, (and I like this idea alot) you could look at each item on your list and ask yourself this question:

What would my life look like, how would I feel, who would I be in the world, if I didn't have this situation, person, attitude, etc in my life?

I have this thought that if we could have a vision, or even just a small glimpse of what our lives would be like if we DIDN'T have those energy draining people or situations in our lives, it might be enough to create the subtle internal changes needed to bring about the external results we'd like to see. And I'm even wondering if that alone is all that's needed. Remember Karla and her vision of the mowed yard? (Her comment can be found here.) I'm really curious to see if this will work for me.

Alternatively, you could do as is suggested in the following is an exerpt from The Self Factor, by Duncan Coppock:

Most of us have many things in our lives that we tolerate but which drain us of energy. These include messy cupboards, un-filed paperwork, appliances that don’t work properly, shoddy paintwork and furniture, unfinished projects, poor communication, unanswered emails, unreturned phone calls, overflowing trash baskets unpaid bills, poor boundaries, rudeness, noise pollution, cluttered rooms, living in a neighborhood or doing a job you hate, etc. etc. etc! The list can go on and on. If you really take some time to think about the different areas of your life, it is not uncommon to find scores of energy drains, some minor and some major.

When thinking about this, don’t get caught up in what you “should” want or what “should” be okay with you. Focus on what is true for you and what does or does not work for you. If you are or can be genuinely happy with a situation even when it is not optimum, it does not have to drain you of energy. Energy drains occur when you do mind about something, are frustrated or complain and yet are not doing anything about it. The solution is either to choose to accept it happily or else do what you can to change it.

Start by making a list of ten energy drains at work and ten energy drains at home or in your personal life. Keep the list handy and keep adding to it every time that you notice something. Don’t give yourself a hard time about this. You are simply raising your awareness and telling the truth about what is happening in your life.

Now begin taking action to eliminate items from your list. Where possible, eliminate an item completely. Deal with it to an extent where you can be genuinely happy with how things are and your energy is no longer being drained by frustration and negativity. Depending on your style, you may want to start by eliminating the easiest items on your list, so as to give yourself the experience of success and to build momentum. Alternatively, you may want to tackle some of the biggest energy drains first to really free yourself up. Whatever works best for you. Start today so that you have a more abundant reserve of energy from which to live.

Remember, it's not the things on the list that drain you of energy, it's how you talk to yourself about them. If you can find something positive to say to yourself, it will greatly enhance your ability to take action where action is needed, and it will bring you some peace about those areas of your life that for the moment appear to be beyond your control.


karla said...

I really like that statement. It isn't about the tasks, the people the chores, the bills the house. It's how you THINK about them. My challenge is to think about each chore as a stepping stone to where I really want to be, rather than a chain holding me back from there.

This is easier to do with draining tasks than with people, but the last week or so, I've been doing better. There are a couple people in my life that are EXTREME energy suckers on a regular basis and every now and then, another one gets tossed my way temporarily. They make me so angry that I dwell on their comments and actions which is really stupid and a waste of valuable resources. Who wants to walk around pissed? Isn't it better to be happy and laughing? However, I KNOW that I am exactly where I need to be in this exact moment in time. If I am certain of this, then the people who make me angry are teaching me something valuable about myself. If I can step back fromthe life-sucking emotional response (the I-wanna-smack-them-upside-the-head reflex) and look for the lesson, it redirects the energy more positively. Why am I angry? Do I think I'm superior in some way? Are my thoughts and beliefs and actions better than this persons 100% of the time? What part of this jerk is a reflection of myself? How can I use this relationship to become a better me? What could I possibly be teaching this person by being in their life? If I am a teacher, shouldn't I set a good example rather than act in kind? If I am asking these questions, the plug is in the drain.

Two Feathers said...

Hi Karla, as always, I do enjoy your insights!

I've been somewhat challenged by my so called "top ten" - I started first with the idea that "biting off more than I can chew" is a biggie for me, and then I discovered that's ONLY true when I apply it to food.

At which point, I stuffed more potato chips into my mouth and went looking for cookies... LOL!

For me, the biggest energy drains are the stories that I tell myself about the stuff that isn't quite "right" in my life....

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